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  1. #1

    DCD mentioned talking to his lawyer...

    I terminated a DCF yesterday (4-year old boy and 1.5 year old girl) because the boy was very aggressive towards the other children in my care. We're talking non-stop pushing, yelling, throwing toys, etc. The final straw was when he pushed his sister off a 3-foot tall play structure. Fortunately, she's okay but it could have ended very badly. After a long talk with my husband and a lot of thinking, I sent the parents their termination letter via e-mail last night, as I didn't want them to show up on Friday (their next scheduled day). It was their first day of care, and I have a clause in my contract where care can be terminated at any point during the first month (trial period).

    Anyway, this morning I woke to a voicemail from DCD. He was very apologetic and just wanted to know what had happened to make me want to terminate. We had a good chat on the phone - he was shocked at his son's behaviour, said that they had talked to him (DCB) and that he had admitted to pushing his sister off the play structure and that they were planning on putting him into a dayhome or program of some sort with children his own age. They agree with me that his behaviour was unacceptable and respect my decision. However, they feel as though their daughter will really thrive here and have asked me to keep her on. Okay, no problem... She's a great kid and has already adjusted really well.

    The only thing that is make me question it (keeping DCG) is the fact that he casually mentioned talking to his lawyer, who is "also his good friend", about the situation. Apparently the lawyer was the one to suggest that his son attend a dayhome/program with older children and recommended a few parenting books to him. He went on to say that this man was in his 60s, had raised three children and had lots of experience. The part that strikes me as odd as that he kept referring to this man as his "lawyer friend". What does his profession have to do with it? He brought up other (irrelevant, I think) facts throughout the conversation such as having a ton of responsibility at work and that he was a star athlete in high school, so I'm not sure if this is just his way of building himself up or if this is something to be concerned about. He was otherwise very kind, took complete responsibility for his child's actions and didn't seem to be threatening me in anyway. I just can't help but wonder...

    What do you all think? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
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    I think he was just building bridges and telling you that he has a friend, who is well educated, whose judgement he trusts, who had suggested day care, who he would ask for advise about the son's behaviour, as it clear he needs more help than just showing up in day care.

    That my take base on what you say.

    However, if you feel there was an underlying tone about the conversation, simply turn away the daughter and wash hands of this family. You said you can term in first month and since it was kids first day, and you do it in writing it wouldn't matter if he had a friend who was police commissionaire, you done nothing wrong.

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  4. #3
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    Personally....I would take it as a veiled warning that he is throwing it in there several times that this was not a "family friend" but a "Lawyer friend".

    It's almost like he's trying to also flex muscles and show he has some power or that he is watching you. I would take it like a intimidation tactic....but that's just me.

    It's like parents who mention several times their 'police' connections as if that should scare us straight in some way

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  6. #4
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    Well, you would have to go on gut feeling and the tone having been used. I t doesn't really sound like he's threatening legal counsel it almost sounds like he might be embarrassed by his son's behavior and is trying to make it himself feel good by noting important friends and such to put himself at a higher social level or something. (because this naturally balances out your unruly child).

    I would be cautious about proceeding with the other child though. I would expect that their parenting will be quite similar with child 2 versus child 1 and I can't help but think you'll have constant headaches about behavior in the coming year(s). That said, you have her at a younger age so can get her trained to your rules and expectations much faster than with a 4yr old. But, I would still caution that the child may very well have those same aggressive tendencies and an older brother modelling it.

    If you proceed make sure you have a very clear contract...and perhaps a new contract specific to them noting an extended 'trial period' where you are able to terminate due to aggressive behavior etc etc.

    Good luck!

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  8. #5
    Yeah, see that's where I'm torn... He was most definitely embarrassed by DCB's actions (said so himself many, many times), so it's possible he was just trying to build himself back up. But at the same time, I just can't help but wonder if it was his subtle way of warning me... Like "don't mess with us, because we'll be watching you!". I do tend to overanalyze everything though (just my personality), so it's very useful for me to hear your ideas, thank you.

    If I do take the girl (may be a mute point because she hasn't arrived...), what could they possibly sue for? Just if she was injured? Would my insurance cover that? My contract is very thorough (16 pages), so I'm not too worried about that. I guess I'm just wondering how much of a risk she (or any daycare child) is to me, legally?

    Thank you all again.

  9. #6
    And thank you Lee-Bee, that's a very good point. She hasn't exhibited any aggressive behaviours thus far but it's very possible she'll pick up on them if that's what she sees at home. Because she's young (and she listens really well), I'm hoping I can have a good influence on her. I do have a clause in my contract where I can terminate with no notice if I feel the child's behaviour is detrimental to my dayhome/myself/my children in anyway, so I think I would be covered if her behaviour started to go downhill.

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spixie33 View Post
    Personally....I would take it as a veiled warning that he is throwing it in there several times that this was not a "family friend" but a "Lawyer friend".

    It's almost like he's trying to also flex muscles and show he has some power or that he is watching you. I would take it like a intimidation tactic....but that's just me.

    It's like parents who mention several times their 'police' connections as if that should scare us straight in some way
    I agree but far more strongly. Nothing veiled about this. He is threatening you using a passive-aggressive tone. I would not take on the little sister. Any little thing and I would be wondering about the "lawyer friend" hanging in the wings. You are being bullied. And yes same house could mean same aggressive play learned from the big brother. Why not mention his engineer friend or his teacher friend? I would terminate asap and even mention that you took the lawyer friend comment as a threat and could not work with them as a result. Maybe he would remember and not do it to the next provider.

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  12. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Isawitfirst View Post
    I agree but far more strongly. Nothing veiled about this. He is threatening you using a passive-aggressive tone. I would not take on the little sister. Any little thing and I would be wondering about the "lawyer friend" hanging in the wings. You are being bullied. And yes same house could mean same aggressive play learned from the big brother. Why not mention his engineer friend or his teacher friend? I would terminate asap and even mention that you took the lawyer friend comment as a threat and could not work with them as a result. Maybe he would remember and not do it to the next provider.
    I just can't help but wonder what the point of the rest of the 30-minute conversation was though? It was full of praise for me (how they were so impressed with my dayhome, really wanted DCG to continue, etc.). You think his bullying (mentioning the lawyer) was a way of him being in control?

  13. #9
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    Sounds potentially threatening to me. Run as fast as you can!!!!

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  15. #10
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    Not sure about the other 30 minutes of the conversation and I would not care. His intention is clear to me. Don't like the way he is doing business with you. I would terminate immediately and tell him why. It is your decision but proceed with extreme caution with this one.

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